For the first time in nearly four years, WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan will return to Monday Night Raw.
The 65-year-old Hogan, who was fired from his veterans contract as a WWE ambassador in 2015 for racist remarks caught on a leaked sex tape, will make an appearance on Monday when Raw emanates from Orlando, Florida. Hogan will honor his longtime friend and Hall of Fame announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund,. The friendship between Hogan and Okerlund spanned decades while working together through AWA, WWE and WCW. Their on-screen chemistry during interviews formed an inseparable bond comparable to Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell in boxing.
Mean Gene I love you my brother HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 2, 2019
Hogan hasn't appeared on Raw since a March 23, 2015, episode in which he shared a ring with rapper Snoop Dogg and WWE superstar Curtis Axel during the days of his "Axelmania" gimmick. Hogan, who also served as a judge at the time on the WWE reality show "Tough Enough," was fired two months later.
Last July, Hogan was reinstated to the WWE Hall of Fame and his likeness slowly began to return to the WWE Network. Four months later, he made his official WWE return for the first time since being fired when he served as the host for the promotion's controversial Crown Jewel pay-per-view show in Saudi Arabia.
The best partner I ever had. We never rehearsed or did anything scripted from a writer. Gene would ask me “hey big man what do u want to do?” I would always answer “just follow you brother” and it worked from 1980 - 2017. RIP my brother HH pic.twitter.com/OBtn6NxT1E— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 3, 2019
Hogan shared a number of tributes on social media to Okerlund, whom he called "the best partner I ever had." The two once famously teamed up in a special tag team match opposite George "The Animal" Steele and Mr. Fuji in 1984, with the buildup to the match featuring memorable training vignettes.
Not only was Okerlund the main backstage interviewer during Hogan's landmark as then-WWF champion in the 1980s, he followed Hogan to WCW in 1993 and shared the ring with him three years later when Hogan famously turned heel at "Bash at the Beach" and formed the nWo with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.